Day 7 – Holy Land Tour

Today is DAY 7 (May 9).
These scenes and lessons really help in understanding the bible.
I liked the connection between Jeremiah 17:13, and John 7 and 8.
I’ve never caught this background to the idea of ‘writing in the dust’.
The lesson seems to be, life is a desert and at times very hard.
If not for us, then certainly for others.
God not only wants to be an En Gedi to me, to us.
He wants me,m and us, to be an En Gedi to others.
How has the Lord satisfied the thirst of my soul?
How has the Lord shown mercy to me, though my name was in the dust?
Life is hard, lets not make it harder for others.
Let’s do what we can to assist those who are struggling around us.
The day will come when we need them to assist us too.
For more information about this virtual tour, click here.

Day 6 – Holy Land Tour

Today is DAY 6 (May 8).
The image of the straight paths along the ‘green’ slopes is striking.
I agree, those slopes are not very green afterall.
But it is the food they need, and the shepherd is taking care of them.
This pandemic season certainly feels like those barely green slopes.
But we have more than enough; and best of all, we have the shepherd.
Now is not the time to focus on what we do not have, or cannot do.
Now is the time to appreciate what we have, and to stay focused on the shepherd.
He will lead us through this valley (and not leave us there).
Watching this session changed my understanding, and appreciation, of Psalm 23.
For more information about this virtual tour, click here.

Day 5 – Holy Land Tour

Today is DAY 5 (May 7).
Following Jesus includes many unknowns and difficulties.
But He leads us through the wilderness to a better place.
We need to make sure we are staying on the path with the Lord.
Are the words I speak, and the steps I take, the kind that Jesus would speak and take?
Would Jesus yell at that person, would Jesus hold back on helping that person?
Would Jesus sit back and only take care of Himself, or those close to Him?
Would Jesus let Satan’s lies convince Him to give up, turn back or do something selfish?
Israel did not walk the path alone, and we do not either.
Jesus offers to carry the yoke with us, to make the burden lighter.
Today I am facing choices in how I will respond to the rocks in my day.
Will I think selfishly of myself only, or will I follow where Jesus would go?
Will I forget about those around me, or will I make the path easier for them?
I am walking a path today, whether I think I am or not.
What steps am I taking, and where are they leading?
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit…” (Galatians 5:25)
And am I keeping in step with Jesus, following the lead and help of His Spirit?

For more information about this virtual tour, click here.

Day 4 – Holy Land Tour

Today is DAY 4 (May 6).
It is hard to imagine a flash flood in the desert.
I’ve had only a few flash floods (sudden crises) in my life.
But I have had the experience of being stuck in the mud.
Right now it feels as if I am slogging through this virus lockdown.
I can rationalize my way forward, but I am not feeling it.
I am quickly tired, and it is hard to motivate myself to do the next task.
Or even to know what the next task is.
I don’t hear the roar of the flood coming, but I am feeling stuck.
In times like these the Psalms do express well the cry of the heart.
‘Lord, I am stuck, I need help, set me up on a rock!’
The video gave me images to picture when I read psalms like these.
“My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth!” (Psalm 121:2)

For more information about this virtual tour, click here.

Day 3 – Holy Land Tour

Today is DAY 3 (May 5).
I didn’t realize how barren and lifeless the wilderness was.
How can those trees survive such a barren wasteland?
And yet they become lessons for life in this world.
The rottem tree for shade and the acacia with roots reaching to the river.
The tamarisk planted in faith and the arar tree that deceives with empty fruit.
I’ve been reflecting on how God is revealed in creation.
This pandemic is leading many people to discover the outdoors again.
That is a good thing, because it brings us closer to our Creator.
He is always with us, but perhaps our walls are barriers to experiencing God.
If I look outside at the grass, or the trees, or the birds, what can I learn?
Is there a life lesson right in front of me, and I am not seeing it?
Do you see any life lessons around you, in the things of nature?

For more information about this virtual tour, click here.

Day 2 – Holy Land Tour

Today is DAY 2 (May 4).
Two pictures stood out for me.
First, the path through the mountains, and seeing only a little way.
Not knowing how long this path will go, how long this desert will last.
In this COVID-19 desert path, we have no idea what the future holds.
But what shall we do, how will it help to worry or complain?
We just have to keep going on the path before us, trusting in God to be there.
Second, the shade provided for each day.
Somewhere, somehow, each day God provides just enough shade.
A gift, a call, a visit, a breakthrough, an insight, a friend…
Even something as small as a flower, or a bird song, or a cool breeze.
God does not give us a feast, but neither does He let us starve.
He gives us just enough – manna – for each day.
I can’t get myself out of this desert (self-reliance).
But I can choose to keep walking forward by faith.
And I can choose to look for the broom trees, the little gifts of shade.
Today, my shade experience was a refreshing, encouraging walk.
And the tulips blooming at our front window.
They brightened my soul.
How about for you, did you experience His shade today?

For more information about this virtual tour, click here.

Day 1 – Holy Land Tour

Today is DAY 1 (May 3).
How appropriate this video message seemed. We are in a desert of sorts… we do not have control, we are not where we want to be, our situation is unpredictable, and we are learning what it means to rely on God. I like how he invited us along at the end, not to just watch them on their trek, but to walk through our own desert, and to learn that God makes the way through the desert possible. We will get to the other side of this.

I am finding for myself the difficulties in this (coronavirus) desert so far include:

  1. The fogginess of my mind and my struggle for energy, motivation and direction.
  2. How drained I am when I talk on the phone, or participate in ZOOM calls, or even sidewalk conversations.
  3. Just wanting to hug my family.

What about for you?

Questions on ‘heaven’

In my message “On Earth as it is in Heaven” on Sunday, January 5, 2020, I touched upon a number of themes relating to what the bible says about ‘heaven and earth’. I welcomed feedback and questions, and received a number of questions, which I will respond to here.

The questions are:

  1. What does it mean that Jesus ascended into heaven?
  2. What happens when we die? Are we put in a holding pattern until the second coming and the new earth?
  3. Where is hell?
  4. There are many that say they have been to heaven and back (there are books and movies).  How is this possible? You hear before people die they see “the Light”, with the thinking of the new earth being heaven, how is this? What is this?

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